- Have a beginning, middle and end. They don’t necessarily have to be in that order.
- Make sure you grab your readers on the first page of your novel, on the first paragraph, on the first line.
- Take out any scene that doesn’t add anything to the story
- If you are bored writing a scene, then the reader will be doubly bored reading it. Remove it or change it.
- make sure there is something new and interesting about your plot otherwise the reader will feel like they have read it all before.
- Create believable, relatable characters.
- Don’t use names that are long and difficult to remember or pronounce.
- Characters need conflict but often it’s how they react to conflict that makes them interesting.
- Take out any character that doesn’t add anything to the story. If two characters perform the same function in your story then remove one.
- Weak and whiney characters will make a reader put down your book.
- Readers want to see growth and change in the characters.
- Weave in description rather than dropping in a solid block of it. Many readers skip descriptions anyway.
- There’s no need to describe every detail in a room or every action a character takes. Readers have a vivid imagination so our descriptions should only be enough to pique their imaginations.
Pace and Rhythm:
- Times have changed and continue to change. The majority of the population prefer a faster paced book than they did 20 years ago.
- Rhythm is the music of your novel. It’s the subtle magic that keeps the reader’s eye dancing across the page. Match rhythm to pace and even a slow scene won’t become a plod.
What do you do when your stories begin to plod? Can you think of any other tips?